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Seminar for agricultural producers from the Eastern Rhodopes

Twelve agricultural producers participated in the seminar on organic sesame production and processing on April 8 in the town Ivaylovgrad.

The major lecturer/trainer was Prof. St.Karov (Association Ecofarm-Plovdiv) and Mr. Nikolaj Tihov from Bioselena Foundation. Together with Dr. V.Popov (Avalon BG), they advised producers on specific organic practices for sesame production, plant protection, processing and trade. It was make clear to the participants that the New Thracian Gold project is aiming at encouraging cooperation between producers in the region.

The programme included sufficient time for informal discussions during which producers, processors, trainers and municipality representative to share experience and knowledge.

A number of manuals for sesame and grain production were distributed among participants and attracted significant interest.

Case-by-case consultancy was provide to participants on technical questions, criteria, conditions and administration of the new financial support of the NTG organic component to target Rhodope organic producers for 2011. The sesame processing factory was visited and discussing were held on possible certification of the organic tahini, and possible NTG assistance in processing organic sesame oil (which will add significant value to sesame products).

In addition, besides the learning objectives, the social character of this gathering proved successful. The group of sesame growers is increasing to 9 (one fully certified and 8 in conversion) with about 1300 dka of land under cultivation. They have been encouraged to register and run a small cooperative (or association) in Ivajlovgrad, which will prove common machinery, seeds, assistance at the market, etc. for organic sesame production and also other crops in Ivajlovgrad region.  

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